Tah: "We want to qualify for Europe"

Jonathan Tah has been a Bayer Leverkusen player for almost four years, during which time he has established himself as a key performer and made his international debut. Ahead of his side's upcoming clash with TSG Hoffenheim on Friday evening (20:30 CET/Live Ticker at, the 23-year-old centre-back has given an interview to in which he discussed a range of topics including the clash in Sinsheim, the previous fixture between the two clubs and the changes there have been under new coach Peter Bosz.

Jonathan, the Bundesliga is back again after the international break. You're in action against TSG − a direct rival for the European places  in Sinsheim on Friday. How important is this game for you?

"It's an important game. Hoffenheim are a direct rival and they have a very strong team. But nothing will be decided for a long time after this match. It'll be a case of not letting up and staying focused until the end of the season. A lot could still happen – but we want to qualify for Europe, for sure."

Hoffenheim won the reverse fixture 4-1. What was the difference between the sides back then?

"Hoffenheim played very effectively and they were simply on their game that day. It was a deserved victory, they were better. We want to do things differently this time."

Past meetings between TSG and Leverkusen have often tended to be high-scoring affairs. Are you expecting another attacking spectacle on Friday?

"It could well be. But it's often the case that when such predictions are made, exactly the opposite ends up happening. Both teams generally have an attacking philosophy. That means the foundations for a good game are in place."

Since Peter Bosz took over as head coach over the winter break, things have been going very well for you. What has he changed since then?

"We definitely have more possession under Peter Bosz and we're combining this style with pressing, we defend aggressively each time we lose the ball. Despite all the attacking intentions, the key is to defend seriously and to switch the play dynamically after winning possession. We play attractive, technically pleasing football. This was something we did beforehand, but unfortunately not consistently enough. But we still have a lot of work ahead of us."

Download Now!
Print Page to top